Jeff Jacobs writing in the Courant about Don Quixote’s demise and apologizing for his small rule in it:
Where I erred so badly in 2010 was underestimating how much major-league damage he could do in a minor-league market. He burned through money and goodwill like nobody’s business. He raised plenty of cash for the outdoor WinterFest and the AHL team, but he spent plenty more. I’d ask him early on if he had the connections to pull this off. Every time, the answer was yes.
I hate to tell someone as good as Jeff I told you so, but here’s me two years ago after the Whale debuted:
We can debate why the Whalers left and if they should have all day but the one thing that’s not up for debate is the NHL returning to Hartford. It’s not happening and Baldwin’s campaign only strings along fans who’ve been promised the NHL for 14 years now. I applaud Baldwin for wanting to return the hockey culture to Hartford but we need to rally around our AHL team, whether they be named the Wolfpack or the Whale(rs), because that’s the best we’re going to get. If we continue to hold out for the NHL we could very well wake up one morning and find the AHL gone as well.
The Whale’s lease at the XL Center expires after this season and their future at the venue is murky to say the least. That’s not wholly Howard’s fault, but he deserves some blame for the current issues in Hartford’s hockey market, and Jacobs is right to ask him to “quietly go away.”
I’d add that at this point it’s hard not to feel sympathy for Baldwin. He has roughly $2.7 million in debt and 15 court cases against him. In addition he still feels he has some role to play in the future of Hartford hockey telling Jacobs, “I have no intention of getting out of hockey or abandoning this market. We have to find another way, create another plan over the next six months.”